Soapwatch: Jaci Stephen's ultimate insight into this week's soaps 

Maternal instinct is powerful in soapland: mothers are the quickest to forgive and the last to give up on their offspring. 

In Coronation Street alone, last week, we’ve seen Abi desperate to make amends with Seb, Tracy taking responsibility for her lack of decent mothering in Amy’s life, and Shona, despite her son being a killer, shouting, ‘I’m your mother!’ His view of her was different – ‘an old slut ’ho used to live on the estate’ – but you can’t have it all.

EastEnders’ mums have always stuck up for their young no matter what – Peggy, Bianca, Kat, Kathy, Dot (the most loyal in history) – because fairm-ly is fairm-ly, even if the kids are liars, adulterers and murderers. 

In Emmerdale, mothers have had a more difficult time with their children. 

The reaction and aftermath of Moira’s struggle with Holly’s drug addiction and death is one of the most powerful storylines in soap history.

In this week's Coronation Street Seb finds himself out of a job after getting in a scuffle with Gary over Sarah 

In this week's Coronation Street Seb finds himself out of a job after getting in a scuffle with Gary over Sarah 

Increasingly, though, to quote Wordsworth, ‘the child is father of the man’ – or, in this case, woman. 

When parents falter or grow sick, there’s nothing more touching than when roles are reversed and the parents become the vulnerable children.

CORONATION STREET: UNBUILDING BRIDGES

Poor Seb’s been through a lot in his young life and, with his 18th birthday upon us, we can only fear his being of legal drinking age will make matters worse. 

Or is life about to get a whole lot better when Sarah promises him a birthday surprise? Is the written invitation to meet her in the bath for Seb or Gary – and who is about to benefit? Let’s just hope the note’s not intercepted by Ken.

Anyway, the week is all too much for Seb, who ends up in a scuffle with Gary over Sarah and finds himself out of a job. 

That might not be bad. 

Gary is proving himself to be a real rogue trader, telling Carla repairs to the factory roof would cost her upwards of £60,000. 

For starters, she’d have insurance; and I’ve seen a barbecue cause more damage on a hamburger than the boat blaze inflicted on Underworld.

What’s with the bail

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